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(i)

 

Eve has never had a taste for pomegranate seeds. The flavor is masked by the aching bitterness, and the slick kernels get stuck between her teeth. She is a Colonel, then a Guardian, then the Guardian. There is no time for prying seeds from her canines.  

Eve has always had a taste for sacrifice. When Nicole follows her back to her apartment after Rasputin and offers her a choice between a pomegranate and the life of the Library, she chooses sacrifice. She chooses to dig the seeds out with her crimson-stained, sticky fingers, and she has to admit that they taste better when she eats them for others. 

She eats exactly three. She is a Guardian of the Library after all. She has read the myths. 

She has no time to leave a note for Flynn. That is a bitterness greater than any fruit. 

Nicole’s triumphant grin turning to horrified shock is the last thing she sees before the world goes dark. 

 

(ii)

 

Her new husband is… not unkind.

At first, she isolates herself. She only sees him for a brief moment when she wakes before she screams at him to get out. He does. She locks the door to the room she had awoken in, settles down at the desk, and writes down everything she can remember about Greek mythology with parchment and a quill and ink. 

A week later, he knocks on her door and asks her to walk with him. Eve goes. After all, she is not a Librarian. Memorized facts do not give her answers; people do. Or gods, she supposes. She doesn’t think they are any different. 

“Your Library is angry with me,” he tells her.

“Gee, I can’t imagine why,” she retorts, crossing her arms. 

He explains to her that most gods lost the brunt of their powers when the Library came into being, but not him. The Library doesn’t care for the dead, but he does. They have a peaceful arrangement - that is, until he stole her from its halls. 

“It’s the fruit,” he admits, sounding regretful. “I am bound to my mythology - you ate three pomegranate seeds from the underworld, so you are my wife.”

“I am not your anything,” she growls. They walk a while longer. “Only three months a year?” She asks, quieter. 

He nods sadly, and if she weren’t just kidnapped by him, she might’ve felt sorry for him. 

“Three months,” he agrees. At least, it feels like an agreement. She has to remind herself that she never agreed to anything. 

 

(iii)

 

Two months in, he shows her where he has imprisoned Nicole.

“Let her go,” Eve demands as Nicole stares up at her hatefully from the floor of a tiny cell. There are chains wrapped around her wrists, and her hair is greasy and tangled. Still, she does not look defeated.

Neither does Eve, for that matter. Guardians loathe defeat. 

“She stole from me,” her husband murmurs, pressing his fingers against the glass. There is ash underneath his nails, and Eve suppresses a shudder. 

“It was just a piece of fruit,” she points out.

Her husband shrugs. “A piece of fruit that gave me a piece of your immortality. A piece of infinity is infinity.” She has discovered that her husband is a philosopher - a true intellectual. It makes her ache for Flynn all the more. 

“She’ll die in there,” Eve argues, her anger slipping into genuine concern for Nicole’s wellbeing. Nicole might have tried to kill her, but Eve believes in justice. This does not feel like justice. 

“She’s already dead,” her husband informs her, before he leads her away. Eve takes one more look at Nicole, whose own hate has faded into desperation, staring at their retreating backs like she’s afraid to let them leave.

Eve knows what that’s like. All Guardians fear being alone. 

 

(iv)

 

Three months, and a loud pounding comes from the gates. Eve goes out to soothe Cerberus, and finds Ray there, glowing with an internal golden light. She's blinded by the brightness; it brings tears to her eyes.

“Guardian, take my hand.”

“Goodbye, wife,” her husband says from behind her.

Eve does not turn around. She takes Ray’s hand, and the warmth shocks her. The underworld fades away. 

The Library melts into view around them, but before she can take it in, Flynn’s arms are encasing her in a tight embrace. He whispers her name like it’s worth an entire library of knowledge, and she breaks into a thousand pieces. 

He follows her to the floor, arms still around her, and they cry together.

 

(v)

 

Jenkins tethers them together the next morning. Apparently, the fact that she’s pomegranate-married to a god doesn’t mean that she can’t be the Guardian. 

She is happy to know that the Library recruited a new Guardian while she was away. The other LITs seem to tolerate her just fine, though Flynn is openly acerbic to her. Eve knows that he just hates what she represents, but she sets him straight anyways.

Ezekiel and Flynn are… close . Which is new. Jenkins tells her that they were the ones who quit being Librarians to research her whereabouts. Eve has to set them both straight on that as well. They are Librarians first- they can’t put the world on hold because she is gone. 

After all, she’s going back.

Flynn doesn’t accept this. He spends half his time with her researching Greek mythology and the other half watching-kissing-touching her like she's going to disappear any second. 

Winter comes, and she goes.

As for her departure, the LITs hug her and leave. Jenkins and the new Guardian wish her well. Flynn watches her disappear until he can’t.

 

(vi)

 

Several years pass. Her husband teaches her about his kingdom, and she finds that she’s interested. They spend days walking the length of it. Most human souls seem at peace. This isn’t hell. It’s just… the afterlife.

Her husband approaches his job the way she approaches hers: with strategy. With purpose. There is no spontaneity in him, and in the dark of night, the dark of day, she craves Flynn and his hare-brained ideas, the way he reaches back for her hand mindlessly, shouts her name with excitement, before he sprints off to save the world. Her husband is too careful; he waits for her to take his arm. He calls her by her titles because that is what she is to him. The Guardian. His wife. 

She returns the favor. He is the Lord. Her husband. If she used his name, she would be conceding to something. She’s not sure what, but she knows that she refuses to break. 

“My lord,” she farewells as the Library leads her into Spring. She wonders if the portal closes slowly enough that he can hear the way she gasps Flynn’s name seconds later.

 

(vii)

 

Her husband is smart, but her Librarian is smarter. He travels the length of the underworld with a magical instrument to win back the rest of her eternity.

As much as Eve loves him for it, it’s not his choices that end her marriage. It’s hers. 

Her husband watches her with sad eyes as Flynn plays a mournful song at the foot of their thrones; there is an immortal longing in the way the chamber echoes with music, bouncing off hollow caverns and empty spaces. He stands, opening his mouth to make his decree, and Eve makes her move.

Hades ,” Eve begs, and everything stops. Even Flynn, motionless, with his fingers poised to play the next note on his golden lyre.

Hades gives her a gentle smile, sadness becoming resignation. “Eve. I thought you might be the solution to my loneliness. But you are the solution to his, are you not?”

Eve shakes her head, getting to her feet. The grecian style, red dress falls in folds to her feet, and she misses her jumpsuits. “I am the solution to no one’s unhappiness,” she tells him. “No woman is. That’s not love; the sooner you learn that, the sooner you might find it.”

Hades nods, gesturing to Flynn, who unfreezes and gazes up at them with confusion. “Go,” Hades says tiredly, and his confusion clears into joy. There are no conditions, no warnings not to look back. Eve presses a fond kiss to her ex-husband's cheek and winds her arm around Flynn’s, and they stride out together.

 

(viii)

 

After it’s all over, Eve has a green thumb. Flowers grow where she plants them, they grow in her wake when she walks in dirt, and they grow out of nothing if she concentrates hard enough. 

After it's all over, Flynn refuses to let her out of his sight for weeks. His watchfulness ends in a screaming fight, which ends in their bed with their tears and their bodies wound tightly together. The feeling she has when he apologizes and kisses her like they have moments together instead of centuries reminds her how much she loves him.

One day, years and years in the future, Flynn and she are celebrating their anniversary in Greece. They meet a young girl in a flowery sundress in some ancient ruins that Flynn had demanded they check out.

“I’m Persephone,” she introduces, all wide smiles and shining eyes.  

Eve shakes her head, bemused. “In a way, so am I,” she replies, and Flynn’s arm tightens around her waist.

They speak at length. The girl is an immortal. The girl is lonely. The girl has never been in love.

Eve offers her three pomegranate seeds and a choice.